By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,715)
The Development Team for the eight unit affordable condominium planned for 65 Munjoy Street on Munjoy Hill had a challenge earlier tonight; that challenge was keeping the meeting on its carefully planned agenda because of the many questions coming from the six neighbors of the project. who attended.
The meeting called to discuss strategic planning for the brownfields clean-up of 65 Munjoy Street became an opportunity for neighbors to object to the lack of public notice of the meeting as well as to voice concern about toxic dust during the remediation landing on adjoining property.
Referred to as “earth work” it is expected to take between four to six weeks to complete. That involves removing the contaminated soil, that contains lead and arsenic,,refilling the area with clean soil and covering the area said Peter J. Sherr, P.E., at Ranson Consulting, Inc. who facilitated most of the meeting. at the Shailer School Apartments on the Hill.
Jen Wikstrom, a neighbor, said that she happened to see an ad buried in the back pages of the classified section of the “Portland Press Herald” announcing the meeting. Abuters received no other notice of this meeting – causing most to believe that the developer preferred to hold the meeting little neighborhood engagement – in contrast to his phony baloney Public Outreach & Community Relations Plan (CRP). However, Macomber responded that he had delivered notices of the meeting to abuters. One Moody Street resident said she had received that notice in her mailbox.
Macomber emphasized that controlling and monitoring toxic dust escaping from the site is a priority in response to concerns about the risk involved to neighbors. “It’s a simple site for remediation,” said Sherr.
In early July a lawsuit brought by six neighbors against the developer in March Adams Apple LLC was settled out of court. The terms of the agreement were that the lawsuit would be withdrawn by the plaintiffs in exchange for two changes to the exterior of the wooden structure. According to Macomber, the two changes included larger windows on the first floor and changing the siding on the first floor from shingles to clapboards. However, another source said the developer had to make more concessions on the redesign of the building than Macomber admitted. It would appear that the developer wanted to settle the lawsuit quickly to avoid negative publicity about the project. The local architect for this project is Evan Carroll. He was also the architect for Peter Bass’s Lafayette Lofts on Lafayette Street with which neighbors are still dissatisified.
Because of the communication glitch, public comment has been extended to October 3rd from September 26th. For more information on this or other questions, please email Macomber at at: firstname.lastname@example.org Another duplicate meeting is scheduled for September 26 at 6:30 pm. The location is yet to be determined.
For more background information, please see previous post herein.